I heard this clip on the radio yesterday: “My father’s generation thought science was going to solve all the problems of the world.”
This is, in all honesty, a more mature sounding version of “When are we going to get there?” that we all used to utter as quickly as a family road trip started.
It is reasonable to have expected science to solve all the problems. Let’s face it; science has made a lot of promises over the years.
“Wait!” say those of you who are actually scientists, or who understand science more deeply than that. You might have me clarify that people have made grand promises of what science would accomplish. People, not science, have promised that science would solve all our problems.
I feel your pain.
We still hear similar generalizations in the name of God/Religion/Jesus/etc. At the same time, we hear plenty of statements like “Religion has killed millions of people, or “More people are killed in the name of God than for any other reason.” (Is Science blamed for giving us the atomic bomb and thus for the deaths they brought?)
Welcome, science, to the realm of religion. Or, more to the point, to the realm of the state of humanity that sits passively by, hoping for, waiting for, proclaiming this or that, a savior.
It turns out ‘we’ want the same thing from science that ‘we’ want from religion – something or someone outside ourselves to do all the work.
Neither science nor religion can work this way.
Science can tell you not to eat processed, fatty foods and not to water your lawn in the heat of the day and many other things. Science cannot (yet) keep you from doing those things, or make you do other things. Should it.
Neither can (or will) God make you do the things Jesus teaches us will bring salvation to the world. We must actually begin to follow Jesus if we want to see the salvation he offers to us, and through us to the world.
When are we going to get there? Sometime after we start moving in the right direction.