The Christian Scientific Society does not have as its focus any single controversy. Many will want to know where we stand on various issues, however, and in the long run we expect to produce various official statements on controversial issues. No such official position papers have been approved yet. However, the following gives general information about the views of our members.
Creation and Evolution
No other issue has dominated the discussion of Christianity and science like the creation/evolution issue. There are actually three issues involved: 1) the age of the earth, 2) the question of whether simple and random processes can have generated all of life as we know it, and 3) the question of whether Adam and Eve were real people, and if so, when they lived.
On the issue of the age of the earth, our society is predominantly favorable to the view that the earth is billions of years old, and the universe is many billions of years old, in accord with the general results of modern science. While there are many interesting issues of Bible interpretation, most of our members do not believe that the Bible speaks against the earth and cosmos being this old.
On the issue of how life appeared, we are generally favorable to the view that life has existed on earth during most of these billions of years, and has changed in form in many ways during that time. But many of our members are favorable to the “intelligent design” view that says that this history was directed in some way, not undirected and random.
The philosophical view of intelligent design interacts with science in at least three ways:
- Many scientists believe there is no explanation for the origin of life by known natural causes.
- Some scientists believe that the standard Darwinian processes of random mutation and natural selection can not account for all the transitions between species seen in the natural world.
Both of the above can be called “negative” arguments. In addition, there is a “positive” claim:
- Some scientists believe that certain special attributes of nature indicate in a positive way the designing hand of God. These attributes are sometimes called “fine tuning” or “specified complexity”.
In addition, some scientists would add another type of negative argument, namely, that human consciousness and its attendant experiences such as guilt, wonder, and love, cannot be explained by random natural processes alone, i.e., by evolutionary psychology alone.
On the question of Adam and Eve, our society holds a very high view of the Bible, and as part of this holds as one of its principles that Adam was one, real person. At what time period Adam and Eve lived, and how many physical attributes they shared with animals or hominids, are matters of much more debate.
In general, our Society can be described as “pro-life.” We have a very high view of the holiness of human life and the need for legal protections for human life in all its stages. We do not believe that science can claim immunity from ethical and spiritual considerations; great tragedies have happened in the past when scientists experimented on humans on the basis of what they felt were purely scientific considerations.
There are many issues involved in this area on which our society has not taken any official stand. We have no official positions on what changes in the law, if any, should be advocated. We also have not yet studied in detail the many questions of science and ethics dealing with human life, such as the exact moment of new human life, how various forms of birth control and fertility enhancement should be viewed, stem cells, and the ethics of end-of-life care.
While valuing all of God’s creation, our Society draws a line between human life and animal life. Animals are under our care, but are not to be treated as humans. We have no official positions on laws to protect animals from cruelty, although we believe strongly in the ethical treatment of animals.
Global Warming and Scientific Ethics
The Society has not studied the global warming issue in any depth. Our general view is that humanity is commissioned by God to be caretakers of the earth, not despoilers of it.
In general, any deliberate suppression of evidence contrary to one’s favored theory is unethical and should draw sharp condemnation from all scientists. This applies not only to the issue of global warming but also other issues such as the age of the earth.