You see a headline: “Scientific Breakthrough! Scientists now know how XXX works!” In the article, the researcher is quoted as saying, “We now understand… .” You may think, “Isn’t it amazing what the scientists are discovering these days?” The headlines imply that scientists are beginning to understand how the universe works. From subatomic particles to the Big Bang to evolution, scientists are figuring everything out. Given enough time, man will understand everything! However, there is a fundamental problem with this idea.
In actuality, scientists do not know for sure how anything works. They definitely do not understand WHY anything works. Scientists develop theories, equations, or models that describe the way things seem to work now, and then predict how things should work in the future. While these equations or models may be good at predicting the physical behavior of the universe, they do not tell us anything about why things work the way they do, nor do they necessarily represent the actual mechanics of the processes that they are applied to.
One example of this truth is gravity. Scientists have observed (as we all have) that there is a force that draws all matter toward other matter. Equations are used to predict this effect, but this is only formulating what has already been observed in nature. The equations do not tell us anything about what CAUSES gravity. They just formulate and quantify observations. Scientists have no idea WHY gravity works – they just know THAT it works. They make guesses (such as graviton particles, or curves in space) to explain gravity, but they do not know if any of these ideas even vaguely approximate reality.
When new scientific breakthroughs are in the news, remember that scientists are not advancing man’s understanding of why things work. They are only formulating more accurate models of the universe. While this may be a good thing, we must remember that only God knows why things work the way they do, and He has stated that this knowledge is beyond our understanding (See Job 26:14 and Eccl. 8:16.)
*This article was written by one of the readers of Think & Believe. Ken has a background in physics and computer programming. He too is interested in spreading the creation message and exposing the lie of evolution. Thanks for your insights, Ken!
Originally Published in the March/April 1998 Think and Believe.