In the past 15 years, physical knowledge about the universe, our own planet earth and its unique life forms, has virtually exploded. Now scientists say that they will tackle such questions as "Why is there matter?" "Why is there life?" and "What is man?" But do the answers to these questions lie within the field of science? NEVER before have scientific topics been so popular with the general public.
From spectacular television series about the marvels of our universe, to hot-selling, colorful scientific magazines for the layman, scientific discovery has become the "in thing."
Young people talk about being "into space" or "into DNA." Knowledge itself, to use economic terminology, is a growth industry.
Yet, paradoxically, violent crime is also a growth industry throughout the Western world. There is precious little knowledge of how to prevent ultimate nuclear cosmocide, how to have rewarding marriages and happy family life, and how to live in harmony with ourselves and our physical environment.
Needed: New Way of Scientific Thinking Scientists themselves are mot unaware of this apparent "good and evil" paradox. This was very much in evidence at the 147th annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) held in Toronto, Canada, this past winter and attended by this writer.
British professor John W. Bowker perhaps summarized man-kind's dilemma most effectively when he referred to our "prodigious scientific achievements on the one hand" and "our impotence to control their consequences on the other — an increasingly versatile capacity for self-destruction."
How then can mankind be pulled back from the brink of oblivion?
One symposium devoted to epistemics — a new science devoted to the human knowledge process and the human brain — tried to tackle this critical area. Of course, the perspective from which the examination was made was that of evolution, the frame-work of science today. The chief conclusion reached was that man must somehow evolve still further to insure his own survival!
The program study guide to the symposium stated that "the richness of our system-forming activity has resulted in the development of nuclear weapons that threaten the survival of the species. Unless an evolving of the human knowledge process occurs, our prospects for survival are slim."
William Gray, associated with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, stressed that it is abundantly clear that the "normal operation" of the human thinking process "lacks sensitivity" for other humans and for their environment — the "natural ecology."
According to Dr. Gray this defect in the brain's normal operation can only be remedied through what he called "knowledge evolution" — so that a "human, humane and humanistic ecology can develop." And only through this "self-evolution of the human knowledge process," he maintained, can humans reach the point where "the heart of each will be pure of envy and greed and therefore all mankind will be without malice."
Dr. Gray believed that this "self-evolution" was both urgent and possible, since, he said, "man is essentially an unfinished business."
Man is indeed an "unfinished business." And man certainly needs to turn from his self-centered approach to life. But does man have it within himself to redirect his own thinking processes?
The real answer to these questions — which we'll examine below — lies in the Bible, that despised source of revealed knowledge that in fact predicted our very age of knowledge explosion. The prophet Daniel foretold "the time of the end" — this 20th century — when "knowledge shall be increa.sed" (Daniel 12:4).
Freed from "Bondage"? Unfortunately, learned men of science do not want to take a fresh look at the Bible. The "battle" between evolutionary science and what is labeled "religious superstition" is supposedly over — with science the undisputed winner.
As one Harvard paleontologist recently said, "It is absurd beyond words that in 1981 we have to defend the conclusions of science."
Ervin Laszlo, a United Nations official who addressed one AAAS seminar, emphasizes that science has been "fully liberated from bondage to medieval dogma... Not only science and technology, but the institution of society [have been] divorced from religious authority."
In throwing off "medieval dogma," however, science has also discarded the true message of the Bible — which was not, as they assumed, the basis of the dogmas so opposed and discarded. It was the proverbial case of throwing the baby out with the bath water!
As a result modern man is cut off more than ever from his Creator.
"Science has a lot of faults," said biologist William V. Mayer at the AAAS, "but turning to the supernatural is not one of them." He was speaking at a news conference preceding a symposium dealing with the creation-versus-evolution controversy raging in public school science classrooms across the United States. Science, added biologist Mayer, is not atheistic, but "not theistic by not proposing supernatural explanations for its phenomena."
"In the Beginning" — What? Nevertheless, certain phenomena examined at this "world series of science" convention are getting a bit difficult to explain without resorting to the supernatural.
There was considerable discussion of the age of the universe, and of various dating methods used to arrive at the presently accepted figure.
Most astronomers and physicists ascribe to the "Big Bang" theory — an incomprehensibly awesome point in time when, according to this explanation, matter exploded in all directions from one incredibly huge and hot fireball.
Earlier concepts such as the "steady state theory" or the oscillating universe theory" are no longer generally held to be feasible.
The Big Bang theory raises interesting questions however. Astronomer David W. Schramm noted in his paper, "That our universe has a finite age is philosophically intriguing."
Lest anyone leap to theological conclusions, however, fellow astronomer Milton K. Munitz went to considerable lengths to explain the difference between "the beginning of the universe," as scientists view it, and "the creation of the universe." The latter phrase is not preferred by science since it implies a creator.
By choosing to use the phrase "the beginning of the universe," emphasized Dr. Munitz, the scientist is "saying something about the built-in limitations of the scheme he is presenting." Beyond that point in the distant past other conditions may have prevailed that we do not know of, indeed may never know of.
The term "creation of the universe," on the other hand reported Dr. Munitz, is a religious term always associated with a "world picture." Such a "world picture" represents a "fixed bedrock" of beliefs concerning the nature of the universe, revolving around a purposeful, powerful Creator-Designer.
"Science," Dr. Munitz told this author, "is not devoted to formulation of a 'world view,' " though individual scientists, he said, may have their own "theistic" beliefs.
The view of a nebulous "beginning" rather than a creation, is strictly in keeping with science's own "fixed bedrock" — evolutionary chance. As the noted oceanographer, Roger Revelle, once remarked: "Evolution is a fact. It doesn't mean that man can't have hope. Our values are part of our evolutionary heritage... there is clearly no ground plan."
In other words, evolution postulates that there is no purpose whatever to your life.
Science Stands Mute Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow, in an article in the Los Angeles Times of June 25, 1978, examined the dilemma that the very concept of a "beginning" causes science.
"Consider the enormousness of the problem," said Dr. Jastrow."Science has proved that the universe exploded into being at a certain moment. It asks, what cause produced this effect? Who or what put the matter and energy into the universe? Was the universe created out of nothing, or was it gathered together out of preexisting materials? And science cannot answer these questions."
Some of the greatest scientific minds, observed Dr. Jastrow, have been annoyed at the concept of a beginning in time, because of its clear theological implications.
Albert Einstein wrote once that "this circumstance of an expanding universe is irritating." Sir Arthur Eddington, the most distinguished British astronomer of his day, wrote in 1931, "I have no ax to grind in this discussion, but the notion of a beginning is repugnant to me."
Philip Morrison of MIT said a few years ago in a BBC film on cosmology, "I find it hard to accept the Big-Bang theory; I would like to reject it."
Astronomer Jastrow notes that "there is a strange ring of feeling and emotion in these reactions. Such judgments are expected to come from the brain, whereas these come from the heart. Why?"
Dr. Jastrow answers that this is, in part, because "scientists cannot bear the thought of a natural phenomenon which cannot be explained.... There is a kind of religion in science; a faith that there is order and harmony in the universe, and that every event can be explained as the product of some previous event."
The scientist has "lost control" says Dr. Jastrow, when confronted with forces and circumstances not explainable by natural causes alone.
There are scientists who have dared to "bite the bullet" and ask, "What came before the beginning?" Dr. Jastrow referred specifically to British theorist Edward Milne, who, in a treatise on relativity once wrote:
"As to the first cause of the universe, in the context of expansion, that is left for the reader to insert, but our picture is incomplete without Him."
Where is There Life Without first coming to grips with the question of who made the universe, science cannot proceed to answer other questions that delegates to one AAAS symposium were told will be the big questions during this decade and the next — "Why is there matter?" "Why is there life?" and "Why is there something rather than nothing in the universe?"
The answers to these questions do not lie within the province of science, which deals only with observable, measurable, physical properties and laws.
To these and similar questions, Herbert W. Armstrong, editor-in-chief of The Plain Truth, has said on numerous occasions, "Science has no answers; religion has failed to tell us; education is in ignorance."
But the Bible, the Word of God, does give the answers.
Changing Human Nature There is a "great purpose and design being worked out here below" to quote the words of Winston Churchill in an address he delivered before a special joint session of the Congress of the United States.
The true Gospel message of Jesus Christ, buried under heaps of superstition, explains this great purpose. The true Gospel — the announcement of the soon-coming government of God — entails, no less, the changing of human nature, and the elevation of man from the human to the God plane — astounding as this may seem to the great minds of this world.
Scientists realize that man must change his thinking processes to become "more sensitive" to his fellowman as well as his physical environment. It's either that or the human race faces extinction.
Evolution can't do this "trick." But the Bible shows how it is possible to make this change from the destructive "get" philosophy to the "give" way of life. Thousands of people are undergoing this most vital of all transformations at this very moment.
Science postulates no "world view." But the Bible does. The very Gospel message proclaimed by Jesus Christ — which the vast majority of professing Christians have not understood — deals with the most important "world view" of all, greater than any political ideology ever devised by man. It involves, at its core, the Government of God soon now to rule on this earth.
There is a great adversary archangel — Satan — who has hidden this "world view" from human understanding. Purposeless evolution has been one of his most successful tools to keep hidden man's awesome destiny.
But you can know what is the purpose of your life. Read our free booklets, Why Were You Born?, Does God Exist? They will open your eyes!