This will take you about half an hour, but if you have any interaction with modern science, or with others who do, it will be worth your time.
I’ve put up a couple of posts about the Higgs Boson particle that has been in the news since its existence was confirmed. This post is not really about the Boson, but about some essential things to remember when we read headlines and see interviews and have discussions with peole regarding, not just the findings of modern science, but more importantly, the interpretations given to those findings, and the philosophical and theological claims made based on the interpretations.
Below is a clip from a CNN interview with theoretical physicist Michio Kaku. Listen carefully to the claims he makes about the nature of the Higgs Boson and what it tells us about the universe.
Now, here are links to the audio of the Reasonable Faith podcast with William Lane Craig, in which he responds to this CNN interview.
In this podcast he points out two major things:
- The theological claims Dr. Kaku makes have no basis in and no connection to the confirmation of the Higgs Boson’s existence, or to anything having to do with physics in general. Thus, when he goes beyond the physics to make metaphysical claims, he simply does not understand what he asserts. (Giving him the benefit of the doubt, of course.)
- Worse, evidently Dr. Kaku goes even further than this, to make several claims about the Higgs Boson that are scientifcally false. They’re just not true in terms of what we currently know about physics. Dr. Craig explains this well in the clip, as he goes point by point to respond to Dr. Kaku.
He concludes his observations like this:
“I’ve said…that as a result of my experience with people like Lawrence Krauss, Stephen Hawking, and certain others, that we can no longer trust these men to tell us about the implications of modern scientific theories–and especially about their philosophical and theological ramifications. And I think we have to add now Michio Kaku to that list. There is an agenda–perhaps a naturalistic or anti-religious agenda–that drives these statements suggesting that, somehow, the discovery of the final particle in the standard model (that everyone has always assumed to be true) somehow disproves religion…or worse.”
We as Christians do need to ask ourselves the questions that stem from these kinds of issues. Questions like: What would make someone of Michio Kaku’s stature go on CNN and make incorrect and misleading statements? Why doesn’t he just report an exciting confirmation of theoretical physics? What makes him go even further, to act as though he is an authority on questions that have nothing to do with his field of study?
More importantly, we need to ask ourselves this: What do we as believers need to keep in mind when we watch these interviews, read these headlines, and hear these claims?