Purpose and Science

I was reading the news on Google today and saw that some scientists did some brain research while killing rats. Apparently, the brain activity of the rats shot through the roof right before death. In theory, this brain activity is why people see a bright shining light before death.

Even though this research may be new, this theory isn’t. The idea that the visions people get when near death are because of chemical reactions in the brain is old news. And yes, maybe there is a chemical dump near death in our brains, but the fact is that this dump does not prove or disprove God or the afterlife.

Here’s the trick – science will never be able to prove or disprove God.  It will also never be able to give people a strong sense of purpose.  Why?  Because both of these things fall heavily around belief and philosophy.  Science needs something solid to experiment with, and there is nothing science can do to give us purpose.

Arguably, there is nothing science can do to take away purpose as well.  The truth is, when it comes down to purpose it all depends on what we put our faith in.  Is our faith in ourselves?  If it is, what happens when we fall short?  Is our faith in science?  If it is, what happens when an experiment proves our hypothesis wrong?  What happens when your life’s work is proven to be little more than just a waste of time?

There are deeper questions, more penetrating questions too.  Can you turn to science when you lose your job, when you find out your spouse is cheating on you, when you lose a friend in a car wreck, or when a family member dies of cancer?  The best science has to offer is self-medication in such circumstances; ways to numb the pain.  With that comes addiction and can come destruction of relationships, jobs, and dreams.

If the answer is that no one can find purpose in science, then where is purpose found?  Is there something unchanging in this world that we can place faith in?  I believe so.  I believe He showed His unfailing purpose on the cross.


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