Science and Faith

764853Science and Faith
Alan Gijsbers, August 2011



Assoc Prof Alan Gijsbers, University of Melbourne, Head Addiction Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Medical Director, Substance Withdrawal Unit, The Melbourne Clinic, Richmond, National President ISCAST.



Science and faith are often contrasted. Naive scientists critical of Christianity claim they accept the facts of science rather than the mythology of Christianity. Faith and facts are often contrasted. However scientists exercise faith in a number of different areas and the relations between science and faith are more intertwined than opposed.

First a scientist believes facts. That in itself is an act of faith. Under certain conditions water boils at 100 degrees centigrade. Gravity always acts. Staphylococci cause boils. Sometimes the facts of a case have to be verified. Is it really true that water goes down the plughole clockwise in the northern hemisphere and anti-clockwise in the southern? Scientific facts, like historical facts can be verified according to set norms. The reliability of witnesses to the facts comes into the picture.



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