16 de maio de 2008

Ciência e Fé

Uma introdução de Alister McGrath:

But the other thing was I began to discover what Christianity was. And I began to realize that what I had rejected as a schoolboy back in the 1960s wasn't really the real thing at all. It was if you like a kind of caricature or a stereotype of the real thing. And so I began to do a lot of rethinking. And in the end after several months I decided that I was going to become a Christian instead, and that was a very significant turning point for me.

And so now I had a new agenda, which was, how do I relate my faith to my interest in the sciences? And I began by studying chemistry, then I went on and did research in molecular biophysics, and my key concern at all these stages was, in what way does my faith bring an added level of engagement to the natural sciences?

And also, of course, in what way does my interaction with the sciences affect my faith? And clearly many would say there's a negative interaction and I'm sure at points there is. But I found interaction to be mostly positive, and certainly one of the things I've seen myself as trying to do since then is to explore this relationship. And certainly I've done this over the last twenty-five years, really trying to ask those two questions. In what way does the Christian faith open up new ways of thinking about the sciences, or new ways of doing the sciences which really make them more exciting, more relevant, more pertinent to the everyday life, business of life.

And secondly, in what way might the natural sciences actually help us to think about the way we do theology? The way we think about our faith. And these seem to me to be immensely important questions.

For example, the natural sciences are strongly realistic. In other words, they take the view that there is some kind of reality out there that we can encounter, that we can in some way begin to describe, represent, that really is there. And what we're trying to do is uncover this and give as best an account of this as we can.

But actually Christianity's rather like that as well. We believe there is something out there. God. And that in some way we're able to grasp something of God by grace, by revelation, and be able to begin to represent this. And it's a very interesting area of convergence there.

But also of course the whole area of how we actually do this. The way in which theory develops. The way in which the scientific worldview helps us to represent what we see in the world has enormous relevance for us. It just reminds us that talking about God actually in some ways is quite difficult. And we use models, we use analogies, we use all kinds of, if you like, heuristic tools, things that help us to make sense of things as we go along.

And as I've worked on these over the years, I've been more and more impressed by this very positive working relationship that can exist between the sciences and faith.

Obviously there are negative interactions, areas of tension, as well. And in the lecture course we're about to be looking at - I'll be exploring what some of those are and where they come from.

But it seems to me that in many ways the scientist who is also a Christian believer has an enormously rich vision of the world. This very strong sense there is something out there that we're able to encounter, able to represent, and a Christian faith actually enables us to appreciate even more than would otherwise be the case.

I very often think of a quote from C.S. Lewis. He once wrote these words: "I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." That's a wonderful image. It's saying to us that Christianity is not simply something we can look at in itself, but it makes possible a way of looking at reality which brings added value, added appreciation, added depth, and certainly I have found that to be the case.

Darwin e Deus