Intellectually Fulfilling Faith: Lessons from C.S. Lewis - page4




Intellectually Fulfilling Faith: Lessons from C.S. Lewis
by John Lennox, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and Emeritus Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science at Green Templeton College

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“You mean my brain?”

“Yes, I mean your brain. You do science with your brain. Well, tell me the story of the brain.”

“Well do you want the long story or the short?” I said the short.

“Well, in short, the brain is the end product of a mindless, unguided process.”

And I look at them and smile and I say, “And you trust it?”

If you knew that your computer was the end product of a mindless, unguided process, you wouldn’t trust it for a moment, would you? And yet to do your science, you trust something that you believe has come to be without any mind behind it whatsoever.

It’s interesting to know that one of the first people to raise that question was Darwin himself. It’s called Darwin’s Doubt. He said, “With me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?”

And Lewis got that! Presciently, in the 1940’s, Lewis saw that brilliant science had been done by thinking. But what people had failed to do was think about the thinking. And he says this:

Unless human reasoning is valid no science can be true. It follows that no account of the universe can be true unless that account leaves it possible for our thinking to be a real insight. A theory which explained everything else in the whole universe but which made it impossible to believe that our thinking was valid, would be utterly out of court. For that theory would itself have been reached by thinking, and if thinking is not valid, that theory would, of course, be itself demolished. It would have destroyed its own credentials. It would be an argument which proved that no argument was sound — a proof that there are no such things as proofs — which is nonsense.

And that issue has now moved to the center of the contemporary debate about God and science.

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