Science, Faith, and the ‘Siegel Test’

Rob Schwarzwalder | April 5, 2016

In an attempt to debunk the notion that belief in an involved Creator is incompatible with science, astrophysicist Ethan Siegel writes in Forbes, “Faith, by definition, is the belief in something despite insufficient knowledge to be certain of its veracity.”

Siegel’s definition explains his vehemence about there being a hard distinction between theology and science. Insufficient knowledge, he contends, is faith’s weak point, and certainty is something faith can never provide.

Yet faith doesn’t require belief without evidence. The contention that the historic person Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead, for example, is grounded in reliable accounts from eyewitnesses and persons informed by those who saw a formerly dead man alive. This is a phenomenal assertion, yes, but it’s no less credible for being old (the claim of a resurrected Jesus was made in the early first century). The documentary evidence is sound, and those bearing witness to what they saw made clear they meant what they said. As Jesus’s disciple Peter explained years later, “We did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses” (2 Pet. 1:16).


The insistence of Jesus’s early followers that what they asserted was true…

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