Science and Knowledge

The famous scientist Stephen Hawking died this week, by all accounts one of the most brilliant scientists of our age, and certainly one of the best known.

We live in a time when knowledge that comes as a result of the scientific method - repeatable experiments resulting in an explanatory theory and leading to testable hypotheses - is revered as the sum of all knowledge. 

Of course, having described it as I have done, it's obvious that can’t be true. For example, it’s possible to have historical knowledge - knowledge of past events, and their causes and consequences - but it won’t be scientific knowledge. Likewise, personal knowledge - of people, love, joy, right and wrong - is every bit as real, and perhaps even more important than scientific knowledge.

One of the temptations of our culture’s love of science is that scientists can find themselves speaking for all knowledge, not just scientific knowledge. And so there are all sorts of quotes from Stephen Hawking about origins, meaning and destiny, which are ultimately questions about God. 

And one of the areas that science will need to stay silent before is the Lord who created the universe which science describes. 

Senior Minister