Paul doing Science on Mars Hill

“Science is not truth; it is, instead, a method for diminishing ignorance”From “The Invisible Sex: Uncovering the True Roles of Women in Prehistory” by J. M. Adovasio, Olga Soffer, and Jake Page.

Whether or not the above definition is accurate or not is an argument which I don’t necessarily intend with this here post. It could be perhaps if I knew the context of the phrase.

I haven’t read the book but I did manage to get the quote from reading a review of the book in the journal Nature, 447, pp.34-35 (2007) during lunch a couple of days ago.

The authors’ contention did get me thinking though: If science is a “method for diminishing ignorance” then can Paul’s outstanding sermon on Mars Hill be counted as science, so-called?

According to Luke,

So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects.

“For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD ‘ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. — Acts 17:22-23

He sought to liberate the members of the Areopagus from their ignorance, did he not?

3 Responses to Paul doing Science on Mars Hill

  1. Alice says:

    Paul would be surprised – and perhaps amused – at the contention that his Mars Hill sermon could be classified as “doing science.” His intent was to bring the Athenians to the knowledge that Jesus of Nazareth is the one appointed by God to judge the living and the dead, and that a day of future judgment has also been appointed by God. This can hardly be termed “science,” as it cannot be proven by scientific methods. Paul sought to awaken faith, not to teach science. In the process of awakening faith, he sought to dispel the Athenians’ ignorance of the true God, whom they called the “Unknown God.” (Only in the sense of “diminishing ignorance” of the true God can any “science” be surmised in Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill). The astounding — if unscientific – truth is that this Unknown God can indeed be known, and has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. In his Mars Hill sermon, Paul makes the point that God has given humankind a sign that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, by raising him from the dead. Science can never prove — nor can it disprove — that Christ is risen from the dead, for there is no body to examine. Science is not a methodology to instill faith, and faith should not be confused with science.

  2. Laz says:

    Alice I was merely using the words of the cited authors.

    To be fair though, the post is a bit tongue-in-cheek, sorry you missed that.

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