Unscientific Questions


This blog post was published on Friday 17 April 2009.

I watched an excellent programme on BBC One last night, called the Narnia Code.

One of the points of the documentary was that CS Lewis preferred a medieval understanding of the universe to the modern scientific one, which he claimed made things cold and mechanical.

A couple of the interviewees (which included John Polkinghorne) made this point: science is very good at answering its own questions (how does this work, what happens if we do this, etc).

But there are two important questions that science can’t answer:

Why is there something rather than nothing?

Why is nature ordered and comprehensible?

I’m sure there are others, but these two are a good start.   This is from The Voyage of the Dawntreader:

“In our world,” said Eustace, “a star is a huge ball of flaming gas.”

“Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is but only what it is made of.”

We need to ask both kinds of questions, I think - and use science and theology together to enrich our understanding of the universe.