Science was a favorite field of study for me as a kid. I loved trying to figure out how things worked. I especially loved looking into the microscope. For me, every magnified glance just confirmed the greatness of God. A God who has left no detail to chance and for whom nothing was too insignificant to place his divine design upon. And then to realize that humanity is the centerpiece of that design… what a wondrous truth!
This week something played out in pop culture that brought “science” into the forefront. On Wednesday a young woman in Florida was acquitted of killing her three year old. I must confess that I did not closely follow the case or watch the trial. I have gathered that three years ago Anthony’s three year old went missing. Anthony did not report it, spent a month partying and getting tattoos and entering bikini contests at local bars. When finally cornered by her parents she told numerous lies about what happened. Six months later the badly decomposed body was found, obviously disposed of, in a roadside drainage area near the Anthony home. Casey Anthony was charged with the crime.
So what does this have to do with science? In the outrage and aftermath of the case, most every analyst, and the few jurors who have spoken out have all made it clear… science has let us down. Apparently the jury was seeking the “CSI” effect. We have become accustomed to seeing the “fictional” absolute science of Hollywood which is able to run multiple DNA tests, ballistics, larvae study, hair samples and somehow they can always tell us beyond a reasonable doubt what happened, even if they only possess a bone chip the size of a tooth pic.
Of course… that is the problem. This is fiction. The jurors in the Anthony trial discovered very quickly that opposing counsel could easily find scientists to say basically the opposite things of one another. And in this case, even though they had a body, and numerous items of accompanying evidence found with the body, they were no where close to getting to the “beyond a reasonable doubt,” thresh hold.
Why am I spending time thinking about such things? Why bother to write about it in a pastor’s blog? Because I believe what happened this past week in the Anthony trial is very telling of deeper hypocrisy in our culture related to our silly over-confidence in science. In my opinion common sense could have easily indicated to twelve men and women in Florida what transpired, and perhaps justice could have been served for a three year old innocent. We have asked science to do things that in most cases it cannot. We ask science to tell us who, how, and why “we are.” And foolishly science took the bait even though science has no “body” it claims to have given us a “reliable” answer to the questions of our soul… Are we really convinced?… Beyond a reasonable doubt?
If twelve intelligent people with a body of evidence were this unconvinced… I wonder if we were too hasty to sell our soul to the inerrancy of science… I suspect an entire generation which has been “hoodwinked” will one day look back and long for the days of common sense discernment… the days when science pointed us to God’s glory, not man’s independence from God.
I think we would all do a little better if we learned to re-cultivate our “common sense.” Maybe if we do, we can get back to the awe and wonder of God that the microscope can incite.
And the truth shall set you free…