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Science is a Verb, not a Noun…or a Religion.

Our general understanding of Science, particularly in the last two years, has been warped. And one of the ways we can see this by listening to how people now talk about science with phrases like “Science is Real”. “Follow the Science”. “I Believe in Science”. Now, Heather, you might say, don’t we want to follow the conclusions of the experts regarding things we can’t understand or don’t have access to? Does that mean you don’t believe in other scientific conclusions like gravity, Earth’s orbit, discoveries of things like penicillin or other great medical advancements? Well no, that’s not the case and that’s part of the problem. We have conflated the results of good scientific processes with science itself. Science itself is merely a process, a function, a method. But now it has grown into something more. It is no longer something you DO. It is something that IS.

What is Science Anyway?

Science is based on the “Scientific Method”. It is generally understood as the study of empirical data to:

  1. Make an Observation.
  2. Formulate a hypothesis.
  3. Test the hypothesis through proper experimentation.
  4. Collect the data and analyze the results.
  5. Draw conclusions

Potential flaws lie in any of these five steps which would nullify any potential conclusion. Sometimes the experiment is poorly done, sometimes controls are not properly administered, sometimes incorrect conclusions can be made. Good science is only as good as the data that is collected, and the proper conclusions drawn on that data. Empirical science entails a systematic approach to epistemology that uses observable, testable, repeatable, and falsifiable experimentation.

But enough of the science lesson, you get the idea. Proper science welcomes testing, it is falsifiable, and it is limited (in part by those performing the science but also by the scope of the science which is limited to the empirical world).

No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.

Albert Einstein

Science is only falsifiable, never truly provable. But what do we see now? Science is a thing (a noun), science is immutable, science is a person, science is based on authority, science can only be understood by the experts, science is an organization, science is unquestionable, science is all-encompassing and all-knowing. Well hang on…..does some of this sound a little like a religion?

Science Becomes Faith

This new religious doctrine is clear: “If the common people wish to commune with the god of science, they must first follow the commandments given by the established leaders. This priesthood wears the religious garb of a white coat, communes directly with the god of science and relays the understanding to the simple peasants. How does one become a vaunted priest of science you might wonder? You pay much money to be taught a set of precepts that has been decided on by the greater Popehood of believers. Nonconformity is not tolerated. To disagree is to be excommunicated from the church of science. Pilgrims can show their adherence to their faith by an outward expression of these holy ideals…the wearing of the sacred cloth mask, the rejection of close social interaction, the understanding of other humans as potential carriers of death and disease. If we proclaim that “we believe in science”, we make a public declaration of our faith to the world and help lead others to faith. Unbelief can kill. There is no forgiveness.”

“Christ the Redeemer” Gets an Update

In 2021, the famous statue of Jesus in Brazil, known as “Christ the Redeemer” was lit up to recognize the saving power of the vaccine. It was projected with the words “Vaccine Saves”. Earlier, in 2020, the statue was lit up with an image of a Medical coat with a stethoscope over the form of Jesus.

There’s so much here to dive into. First of all, I just want to point out the irony of Jesus wearing a medical coat with the medical symbol of the snake entwined on a pole.

Quick historic background. The image of a snake around a pole in relation to healing is initially from the Bible when the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness, waiting to enter the Promised Land. The Israelites sinned against God and were sent a judgement of poisonous snakes which killed and infected many. They prayed to God for deliverance.

The Lord said to Moses, “Make a poisonous snake and place it on a pole. Whoever is bitten can look at it and live.”  Moses made a bronze snake and placed it on a pole. If a snake bit someone, that person could look at the bronze snake and live.

Number 21:8-9

The imagery of the snake harkens back to the Garden of Eden and the temptation of Adam and Eve by the snake (Satan) which led to original sin. Bronze is also significant because in the Bible it is used to reference God dealing with our sin and the resulting judgement. The bronze snake was meant to be a symbol of another person that would also be raised up to be looked upon and which would lead to eternal salvation (defeating the snake of original sin), not just temporary, physical salvation. This was pointing to Jesus, “the Great Physician” himself.

Later in history, it appears to have been borrowed by Greek mythology as the Rod of Asclepius, the Greek god of healing and medicine. Snakes were a part of worship of this god in hopes of healing. And today, it is now primarily known as the general symbol for medicine and healthcare

The emergency medical services symbol “the Star of Life”. Public domain.

So isn’t it ironic then, that the symbol that was derived referencing Jesus himself, was stolen, bastardized by secular culture, and made to represent something that came from God, rather than God himself? And on top of that, to be projected over the image of Jesus himself as though this creation and gifting of His takes the place of, or is greater than, the creator and giver himself? This also demonstrates the idea that the gift of medicine and healing has become a new god. We now worship the snake on the pole and its temporary healing rather than the God whom that symbol represents and who gives us true, everlasting healing.

Our Modern Bronze Snake

This is not to say that the medical community cannot offer us services any advancements or that we should reject all modern day treatments in favor of faith-healing alone. The most devious lies are those which contain elements of truth. So there is a distinction to be made here that is important: we can view various medicines and technologies as a gift from the Lord, but they should never take His place. There is a place for medicines, treatments, and vaccines, but we should never rely on these for our salvation. Secondly, we need to remember that the salvation of our earthly bodies should take less precedence than the salvation of our spiritual bodies. If you turn to modern medicine for salvation of your body, but neglect to turn to “the Great Physician”, for the salvation of your soul, what have you really gained?

Our culture today is so focused on the avoidance of death…but it is the type of death that does not truly matter. We are told the worst possible thing that can happen to us today would be our death, and we are shown a false savior as a remedy. We should be focused on our spiritual, eternal death and the true remedy for that, the salvation of Jesus Christ. Anything else is a poor imitation or mockery and can become an idol.

Personal Caveat and Rebuttal

I know exactly what many people would say to me in regards to this article. What degrees do you hold, how much formal education have your received, what is your medical experience? These are all questions to consider. No, I am not a doctor, I have no formal training in Epidemiology or Virology. I have no science degrees. I majored in International Studies in College. “Ha!”, you might say, “we shouldn’t listen to you, you have no credibility”. Perhaps.

But this line of questioning reveals another underlying false assumption: formal education equals truth. Unfortunately, these two things cannot be equated, and unfortunately most of formal education is no longer a place where ideas can meet, clash, and where the better idea can win. It is no longer a battle ground of scientific processes. Tragically, most places of formal education only teach people what to think and not how to think. People also conflate knowledge of empirical science with knowledge of the world as a whole (including spiritual aspects) and they allow it to replace general reasoning capabilities.

Well, you might say, “Science deals with fact, not ideas or opinions, so there shouldn’t be any debate”. Ah. But there is the lie. Science as we reviewed above is something that is mutable, challengeable, testable, falsifiable. If you believe otherwise, you are rejecting the Scientific Method in favor of a religious faith. Sure, there are certain facts you can know with reasonable surety…like the Mitochondria is the power house of the cell. Ok. There are certain things that have stood the test of time and have not yet been falsified. However, I would urge caution with applying this same logic to current events that have had limited opportunity for the application of the Scientific Method. Things are changing so quickly and every time a new variant comes out, the stakes are changed. Do you really believe that we have the time to correctly apply the Scientific Method to each area of our lives? Is our data complete, are the correct controls in place, does this hypothesis even have the funding to go through experimentation, have we had the time to study long term effects of certain treatments, are we taking time to consider and weigh other areas holistically that may be impacted by these singular-focus medical measures, is there a chance that pure science for the sake of science may have been adulterated by financial gain or political influence? I am willing to stake a fair amount on the function of the Mitochondria….I am not however willing to stake the safety, mental wellbeing and development of my children (or myself for that matter) on the conclusions of those who fear physical death above all and who worship the snake on the pole, instead of the God it reflects.

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