Is Science Superior?

Does following science instead of religion give superior results?

THE HUMANIST'S CLAIM IS That: Science Bests Supernaturalism

White states that despite all the prayers, rituals, and other religious activities performed throughout the centuries, the frequency and severity of plagues did not diminish until scientific hygiene made its appearance. In regard to the hygienic improvements instituted during the second half of the nineteenth century, White explains: “The sanitary authorities have in half a century done far more to reduce the rate of disease and death than has been done in fifteen hundred years by all the fetiches which theological reasoning could devise or ecclesiastical power enforce.”

The superior results of using science instead of religion can be seen in many other fields. Humanists therefore accept the scientific view that this world operates under unvarying natural laws that cannot be suspended by religious rituals or other means.

If you haven't already done so, please read the page about Andrew White. He is not a trustworthy authority.

The question is, does following science instead of religion give superior results? The answer is.... it depends. But, did you notice what the humanist did? He has changed topics. We're now talking about religion in general, not the Bible and Christianity. Maybe by "religion" they are exclusively referring to Christianity... but we don't know. The list of activities alluded to above (and given in the previous chapter) are religious activities, not Christian. If the question is, is science superior to religion, the answer is yes. But, if the question is, is science superior to the Bible or God? The answer is no.

When someone quotes extensively from a book, I like to read that book. When you do that you’ll see that Andrew White's presupposition is that science and religion are in conflict, and one must triumph over the other. And by “religion” or “theology” he is referring g to Christianity. No other religion is discussed in his book.

"More and more I saw that it was the conflict between two epochs in the evolution of human thought--the theological and the scientific." -- Andrew D. White, "History Of The Warfare of Science With Theology in Christendom," from the Introduction.

The theory that science and Christianity in particular are in conflict is a false theory. They are seen to be in conflict only by people who desire that the creator God of the Bible not exist. And to deny God means some empirical evidence must also be ignored, such as the supernatural. Christianity is about truth, Science is supposed to be about seeking the truth (knowledge) about our world. They are in perfect harmony. If you turn away from the truth of scripture, you invariably must turn away from the truth of science. They go together.

What's Wrong With This Humanist Claim?

Based on what we've already discussed you should know what is wrong with this humanist accusation... what is it?

Throughout the centuries, other than the Jews, people did not follow the principles for sanitation, hygiene, and health laid out in the Mosaic law in the Bible. What did science "discover" that made a major improvement in fighting disease? Plague had been sweeping across Europe, peaking in the mid-14th century. What stopped the plague was the "discovery" of quarantine.

"The practice of quarantine, as we know it, began during the 14th century in an effort to protect coastal cities from plague epidemics. Ships arriving in Venice from infected ports were required to sit at anchor for 40 days before landing. This practice, called quarantine, was derived from the Italian words quaranta giorni which mean 40 days." - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

However, as we saw on previous pages, quarantine was taught in the Bible thousands of years before human "science: discovered it.

Andrew White, as referenced by the humanist, claims that introduction of scientific hygiene ended the plagues. Let’s get some facts on the history of hygiene from the Hygiene For Health web site:

"1800s: England’s population increased rapidly but its number of toilets did not. Most human waste made its way into cesspools, dung-heaps, cellars or the street. Waste and garbage made its way into rivers, polluting the water and giving rise to foul odours. In 1842 public health reformer Sir Edwin Chadwick published his Sanitary Health Report. As a result the 1848 Public Health Act was instituted, followed by the 1866 Sanitary Act, making local authorities responsible for sanitary regulation including sewage disposal, water supply and housing density & occupancy, and introducing penalties for persons suffering from dangerous infectious diseases who endangered others in public places."

Now let’s go back about 3,100 years before the 18th century. Back to the days of Moses, when God’s hygiene laws were first written down.

“Long before the existence of medical science and the field of micro-biology, there existed rules in the Old Testament for good community hygiene, and also a meticulous protocol that was mandated to prevent the spread of contagious diseases.”Larry Ball, Quarantine Laws and the Bible.

White specifically refers to improvements made by “sanitary authorities.” So let's get specific. What does the Bible say about sanitation, and specifically the biggest sanitation problem, the disposal of human waste?

Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself dig a hole and cover up your excrement.– Deuteronomy 23:12-13

What is the main principle taught here? Keep human waste separate from humans. Dispose of it away from where you live, and in a way such as to prevent people from coming into contact with human waste. Those are the foundational sanitation principles.

What about after someone becomes sick, or some has an infection? How should that be handled?

"It is important to note that even when there was reasonable suspicion that a person had an infectious disease, there was a definite amount of days of quarantine required during the detection period (Lev. 13: 26, 33). If the infection was eventually identified as a communicable disease then his personal effects were to be destroyed with fire (Lev.13:55), and even his house was to be torn down and taken outside the camp (Lev. 14:45). If the infection was not contagious, then there was a rather elaborate ritual in order to give thanks to God.Larry Ball, Quarantine Laws and the Bible.

What science didn’t discover until the 19th century, the Bible was describing 3,100 years earlier. Regular hand washing, bathing, food safety, quarantine were all part of God’s instructions for healthy living in 1300 B.C. People ignored God’s instructions and followed human wisdom, the science of their day, and got sick and died.

We see this throughout history. Obey God and live. Disobey (or ignore) God and die. People disobeyed God concerning hygiene and sanitation, and the result was sickness and death. Did God impose this as a penalty? No. People refused the protection God offered... the protection that comes from obeying God. Without God's protection, there was death.

When the science of hygiene and sanitation came into alignment with God's laws, humanity was blessed with less pain and death, and greater and more abundant life.

Yes, the institution of scientific hygiene has been an incredible benefit to mankind. That we now have modern sanitation and medicine, and we understand how to prevent and cure many diseases is a true blessing and not to be belittled. But don’t belittle the Bible and Christianity either. God gave us the answers thousands of years ago… and we chose not to believe Him. Here is one final example from scripture, this time of quarantine:

But if the bright spot is white on the skin of his body, and it does not appear to be deeper than the skin, and the hair on it has not turned white, then the priest shall isolate him who has the infection for seven days. - Leviticus 13:4

Conclusion: The humanist claims concerning science being superior to the Bible are without merit.

The next humanist claim: And Humanists esteem highly those who study this world and provide a better understanding of it. Unlike the theologians who focus on influencing supposed supernatural powers, persons using a scientific outlook have enabled great progress to be made in reducing misery and increasing happiness.

We've also talked about this one previously. But since they brought it up again, we'll go over it again. Click here.


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